The seed sowing season is upon us. Mostly annuals but a few perennials as well as to bulk up the borders. The seeds are sewn in pots and put into a propagator in the heated garden shed. As soon as the seeds germinate, they are transferred to the unheated greenhouse to continue growing until they are ready to be pricked out into cell trays and to grow on into nice sized plants and ultimately to be planted into the garden where we will have a good show of flowers throughout the summer months.
The last of the pruning is nearly done. The Choisyaternata has been greatly reduced down to a more manageable height and also the two viburnum tinus plants.
The very tall red stemmed Cornus ammomum plants have been pruned down to 6” /15cm, to encourage more straight stems for next winter’s colour. The longest and thickest stems are kept for use in the garden, for extra brightly coloured plant supports. The two variegated hollies Ilex altaclarensis and Ilex aquifolium Argenteomarginata have had a light trim and the Ligustrum ovalifoluim Argenteum – Privit.
The yellow stemmed willow has been planted in the shrubbery for three years and has had its first cutting down prune. This like the Cornus will provide long straight stems of bright yellow during next winter.
The process happens every two years and is called stooling. The weeding is well under way throughout the garden and while we have no rain falling, the how is in constant use.
The garden at this time of year is looking very pretty with bright colours from the crocuses, daffodils, sweet violets, primroses, anemone blanda and many other flowers.
Jobs for April
Staking paeonies, tree paeonies, weeding, seed sewing, planting and staking in general.
Plants in flower in April
- Kerria japonica – Batchelor’s Buttons
- Wild Strawberry
- Pulmonaria officinalis – Soldiers ‘n’ Sailors
- Helleborus orientalis – Lentern Lilly
- Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’ – this plant is a joy to walk past with its intense citrusy sweet perfume
- Viburnum Tinus
- Doronicum plantagineum – Leopard’s Bane
- Euphorbia characias ‘Wulfenii’
- Euphorbia polychrome
- Heartsease – viola tricolor
- Foxglove – Digitalis
- Pulsatilla vulgaris – Pasque flower
- Tulipa ‘Olympic flame’ – yellow with scarlet feathering
- Tulipa ‘Angelique’ – stem double pink
- Tulipa ‘Estella Rynveld’ A very old (17th century) parrot tulip – white with scarlet feathering
- Primula vulgaris – Primrose
- Primula ‘wanda’ – another very old plant, with tiny leaves and flowers of purple/ceris
- Viola odorata – sweet violet
- Scilla non-scripta – English Bluebell
- Chaenomeles rubra – Red flowered ornamental quince
Celia Simpson - Gardener at Jane Austen's House Museum
(All spelling mistakes are the fault of the typist!)